Dave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in New York City.
"The protoblogger." - NY Times.
"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.
"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.
"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.
10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.
One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.
"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.
"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.
"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.
8/2/11: Who I Am.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
I spent the day at an academic conference on interdisciplinary computing. Oddly there wasn't much talk about computing. And since I am not immersed in the inner workings of academia, I didn't understand most of what was being talked about.
So while I was not understanding, I daydreamed and came up with a question that I bet someone here knows the answer to.
The question is this -- is this scenario economic?
Say I want to run my own virtual cloud. Rent a server at a colo facility and install VMWare on it. Instead of paying Amazon or Rackspace for a few virtual servers, just create my own.
Here's an idea of what kind of server you can get for $159 a month at Softlayer. I currently colo one server there, a very very old one. It runs great. I wonder how many virtual servers I could put on a modern machine. Any ideas??
Nick Bradbury has an interesting piece on fragile web APIs. I left a long comment there earlier today. What follows is an edited version of that comment.
One perspective that's missing is the user's. I might be using a tool that is no longer in active development, but it works and does something there's no other way of doing. We do leave behind ideas in tech, sometimes lots of them. And when the platform vendor breaks the API, where does the user go to continue his work? To gain access to his or her data?
I totally respect Microsoft for keeping my software working, both as a user and a developer. It makes me trust them more, and want to put more software on their platform.
It also means data lives longer. For example, I can still read the sample files I created for ThinkTank in 1984 for the IBM PC. The Mac version, heh -- long-gone. Same of course with the Apple II or Apple III versions.
Microsoft's approach says the user comes first. Why would they want to break the user? There's really no upside, except it means less work for the platform vendor (it costs money to keep the platform backward compatible). But there are so many more users than internal developers, the backward-compatibility work has the greatest leverage. Much better investment than investment in speculative features that few people might use.
On the other side, as soon as I saw Twitter willfully breaking developers, I stopped investing in their platform. I knew where this was going.
And I never invested in the Google Reader API. If my users had asked me to do it I would have said no. They might have used another product, but I don't want to build on shaky foundations. It's hard enough keeping my software working as users find new ways to stretch it.